Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season Two

Executive Producer Alfred Hitchcock
USA 19
56- 57

 

Along with Perry Mason, this is probably my favorite classic TV. Alfred Hitchcock Presents based itself in stories of suspense and mystery. Episodes were often very creative with unexpected twists or revelations. In Season 2 (as in much of the series) the 30 minute episodes were introduced and concluded by Hitchcock himself frequently in a light humorous vein showing his dead-pan fun side.

The series premiered on CBS on Sunday, October 2, 1955 in the 9:30-10:00 PM timeslot opposite ABC's The Original Amateur Hour and NBC's Alcoa-Goodyear Playhouse. In its sixth season the show moved to NBC and was shown on Tuesday 8:30-9:00 PM. When at NBC it preceded two other anthology shows - Thriller and The Dick Powell Show.

 

Season 2 continued to boast performers who would later become much more famous, some who already were, and many strong bit players in Universal camp including - Claude Rains, Gary Merrill, John Williams, Barbara Baxley, Ralph Meeker, Jessica Tandy, James Gregory, Cedric Hardwicke, Hume Cronyn and Rip Torn. In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was expanded to one hour and was shown under the title the The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. We anxiously await!, A true gem of TV gone by. out of

Gary W. Tooze

Opening Sample

Television Premiere: October 2nd, 1955 - USA and Canada

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal (5 single-sided dual-layered discs) - Region 1- NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution Universal - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime Each episode is approx 26 minutes X 39 = almost 19 hours of entertainment
Video 1:33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s (sample)
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Sample Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) 
Subtitles English (Hoh), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• see episode listings below

DVD Release Date: October 17, 2006

3 tired digipak foldout inside cardboard box
Chapters: 4 in each episode X 39 = a bunch

 

Comments:

This represents more excellent value for the money. 19+ hours of classic TV entertainment. This collection includes the entire 39 episodes from Season 2 (1956 -57) on five single-sided, dual-layered discs (packaging image above).

Unlike Paramount's Perry Mason (Season 1 / first half) these are transferred progressively and have optional English subtitles. Thank you Universal!

NOTE: there is one flaw in the authoring - on disc 4 - of I Killed The Count (2nd episode) the Hitchcock introduction runs twice in a row before the story starts. It's not worthy of a recall but it was obviously overlooked by the DVD producers.

There is niggling damage - usually in the beginning of the episodes in the form of light scratches and dust. It becomes rarely noticeable and never bothersome. Contrast is at acceptable levels and detail, at times, is surprisingly strong. Audio is clean and clear. There are no extras at all, which may be looking a gift-horse in the mouth if you consider what you are getting for the price.

A huge plus is that these are the complete 25+ minute versions  (syndicated versions often have some removed.) It is nice to have these on single-sided discs and 8 episodes per DVDs is perfect. The 3-disc Season One package had a number of issues with the compression, which thankfully has been further spread out in the Season 2 collection.  Lets hope Universal don't wait too long for the rest of the series!  out of     

Gary W. Tooze




Sample DVD Menus

 

Episodes (in order - left-to-right)

Episodes synopsis of Season 2 (from IMdb located HERE)

Season 2, Episode 1: Wet Saturday
30 September 1956
Mr. Princey is the father of a girl who has just killed her schoolmaster with a croquet mallet. Princey tries to find a way to protect the family name and prevent his daughter from being charged. Princey located a man who would be a perfect scapegoat, Smollet. Princy takes Smollet to the schoolmasters body and draws a gun on him. He gives him two choices: go along with Princey's scheme that makes it look like he committed the murder or be shot on the spot. Smollet chooses the former. Princey makes it look like Smollet committed the crime. He then tells him to keep his mouth shut. Smollet leaves and Princey calls the police. He reports that a murder has just taken place.
 

Season 2, Episode 2: Fog Closing In
7 October 1956
Mary Summers does not want to stay alone at home when her husband Arthur goes away on business. She asks that her family be allowed to stay with her. Arthur refuses her request. While Arthur is away an escaped mental patient breaks into the house. Surprisingly, the mental patient gets along with Mary. She is not afraid of him. She tells him about a dream she has had where someone follows her up the stairs. When the police arrive, the mental patient makes an escape. After the the police leave, Mary hears someone coming up the stairs just like in her dream. She find's Arthur's pistol as the door opens. At the door is Arthur. He came home early when he heard about the escape at the asylum. Even though she knows its him, Mary shoots him. She then calls her family and tells them she is coming home.
 

Season 2, Episode 3: De Mortuis
14 October 1956
Clarence Rankin's promiscuous wife Irene cheats on him constantly. Sadly, he knows nothing about it. One day, two of Clarence's friends stop by his house. They see him filling a large hole in his basement with cement. Since they don't see Irene, they believe that Clarence has found out about her cheating and killed her. Instead of going to the police, they talk to Clarence. They tell him that, given her cheating, his actions were probably justified. Clarence denies everything and says that his wife is on a trip. His friends leave after saying they will keep quiet. Later, Irene returns. Now knowing the truth, Clarence asks her to come down to the basement.
 

Season 2, Episode 4: Kill with Kindness
21 October 1956
Hoping to pull off an insurance scam, Fritz Oldman and his sister Katherine decide to torch his house and fake Fritz's death. In order to pull off the scam, they need a body. They find a prospective corpse in a bum named Jorgy. Their plan is to knock him out and and place Fritz's ring around his finger. They will then set fire to the house. All goes according to plan until they need the ring. Unfortunately Fritz cannot get it off his finger. Since they already set the fire, they decide to wake up Jorgy and escort him out of the blazing house. People who witness the "rescue" praise Fritz for saving the old man from the fire.
 

Season 2, Episode 5: None Are So Blind
28 October 1956
Seymour Johnson disguises as another person in order to kill his wealthy aunt. When is is questioned by police, he gives himself away because he forgets to take off his disguise.
 

Season 2, Episode 6: Toby
4 November 1956
Albert Birch's childhood sweetheart Edwina Freel gets in touch with him and, surprisingly, agrees to marry him. She arrives with her sickly baby named Toby. She tells Albert that the baby is her dead sisters's. Edwina turns out be rather reclusive. She does not permit Albert come anywhere near Toby. Later, two men arrive and take Edwina back to the asylum from which she escaped. As she is being taken away she pleads to Albert to take care of Toby. He goes to Toby's room and finds a cat. On his collar is the name "Toby".
 

Season 2, Episode 7: Alibi Me
11 November 1956
Georgie and Lucky are rival gangsters who know that if one of them is killed, the other would be the police's prime suspect. One day, Lucky insults Georgie and is shot dead. Georgie then goes looking for someone to give him an alibi. After many failures, he finally convinces his landlady. He instructs her to tell the police that he was home all day. When a detective shows up, the landlady gives the alibi. A delivery boy then arrives. He carries a package for Georgie from Lucky. The boy asks for a tip and Georgie refuses. The delivery boy calls Georgie cheap and reveals that he tried to deliver the package five times that day. The detective overhears the boy statement and arrests Georgie.
 

Season 2, Episode 8: Conversation Over a Corpse
18 November 1956
Mr. Brenner makes a down payment on a house. The house's owners, Cissie and Johanna Enright say that they don't want to sell. He threatens them with a lawsuit, but is poisoned. He collapses and the sisters discuss what they should do. Joanna wants to finish him off more poison while Cissie prefers a gun. Brenner revives and pitches on sister against the other. He gets the gun from Cissie and shoots Johanna. Soon the police arrive, Brenner clears Cissie of her sister's murder. After the police leave, Cissie finishes him off with poison so the house is all her's.
 

Season 2, Episode 9: Crack of Doom
25 November 1956
Mason Bridges plays poker with one of his company's wealthy clients. He gambles everything he has and everything his company owns on one single game.
 

Season 2, Episode 10: Jonathan
2 December 1956
Jonathan Dalliford's son is resentful of his new wife. When Jonathan dies of poison, he accuses his stepmother. Later, however, it is revealed that Gil tried to poison his stepmother, but ended up killing his father by mistake.
 

Season 2, Episode 11: The Better Bargain
9 December 1956
Mobster Louis "The King" Koster believes that his wife and sole heir is unfaithful. He hires a hit man to kill her for twenty thousand dollars. The hit-man agrees, but he then shoots Koster dead. The hit-man was Marian's lover. Since she will inherit everything, the hit-man decided to go with the better bargain.
 

Season 2, Episode 12: The Rose Garden
16 December 1956
Alexander Vinton is a publisher who receives a murder mystery from a woman named Julia Picker. Alexander is disturbed by the books feeling of authenticity. He visits Julia and comes to believe that her tale of a murdered husband buried in a rose garden is true. Julia's sister convinces him that it isn't and proceeds to talk him into not to publishing the book. After he leaves, Julia confronts her sister and reveals that it was Cordelia that murdered her husband.
 

Season 2, Episode 13: Mr. Blanchard's Secret
23 December 1956
Babs Fenton has an overactive imagination. She believes that her new neighbor Charles Blanchard has killed his wife. Later, Mrs. Blanchard shows up at her door and introduces herself. That night, however, Babs sees Charles Blanchard carrying something from the house. Babs again becomes convinced that Mrs. Blanchard has been murdered. Again, however, she is proved wrong when Mrs. Blanchard shows up at her door. Mrs. Blanchard informs Babs that Charles has taken some belongings and left because of a fight. Mrs. Blanchard then leaves. Babs notices that a lighter is missing and comes up with a theory that Mrs. Blanchard is a kleptomaniac. Later, this theory proves wrong as well when Mrs. Blanchard shows up and announces a reconciliation with her husband. She also returns the lighter, saying that her husband fixed it.
 

Season 2, Episode 14: John Brown's Body
30 December 1956
John Brown is committed to an institution by his wife Vera and his business partner Harold. Both believe that John's furniture designs are destroying his business. Their plot works, but after John is committed the business begins to lose money. The two decide to get John back. John, however, likes the institution he is staying in and manages to convince the doctors he is insane.
 

Season 2, Episode 15: Crackpot
6 January 1957
On their way to a hotel, two newlyweds have car trouble. Mr. Moon stops to help them, but ruins his suit in the process. He becomes enraged and threatens them. They manage to get away. The check into their hotel, but discover that Mr. Moon is staying in the room right next to them.
 

Season 2, Episode 16: Nightmare in 4-D
13 January 1957
Harry Parker and his wife Norma live in apartment 4-D. Their next door neighbor is an actress named Lainie. One day, she knocks on the Parker's door and asks for help. Lainie needs someone to get rid of the body of Bill Nelson. He was shot through a window in her apartment and now lays their dead. Lainie wants Harry to move the body downstairs to the basement. She fears bad publicity. When Harry wakes up the next day, the thinks it was all a bad dream. When he goes to the basement he finds the police. Later, Harry's wife admits to having an affair with Bill. When the police learn of this, Harry becomes the chief suspect in Bill's murder.
 

Season 2, Episode 17: My Brother, Richard
20 January 1957
Martin Ross is a district attorney running for governor. His brother Richard murders his opponent in the race. Martin and his wife Laura confront Richard, but Richard pulls a gun on them and holds the captive. The next day, Martin gets a call from the sheriff: they are holding a boy for the murder of Martin's opponent. Richard agrees to let Martin interrogate the boy, but he does not let Laura go. Martin forces a false confession out of the boy. Martin takes the confession to his brother. Richard doesn't think its good enough. He wants to wait until the boy is executed. A struggle occurs and Martin is knocked unconscious. Richard tries to escape, but is stopped by the boy's mother. She believes Richard is the district attorney and stabs him.
 

Season 2, Episode 18: The Manacled
27 January 1957
Ben Rockwell is transporting prisoner named Steve Fontaine by train. Fontaine manacled by an "Oregon Boot". Rockwell has the only key. During the trip, Fontain manages to convince Rockwell to let him go, but Rockwell changes his mind. He and Fontaine struggle and Rockwell is shot and killed. When Fontain finds the key to the boot, he sees that it has been destroyed by the bullet and cannot free him.
 

Season 2, Episode 19: A Bottle of Wine
3 February 1957
Much to his annoyance, Judge Condon wife Grace has a boyfriend named Wally Donaldson. Condon tries to prove that he is all wrong for her. He invites Wally for a glass of wine which he tells him was purchased on Grace's Spanish Honeymoon. After Wally drinks the wine, Condon tells him its poisoned when, in fact, it is not. Wally panics and kills Condon. When Grace appears Wally tells her about the wine. She reveals that she never had a honeymoon and had never been to Spain.
 

Season 2, Episode 20: Malice Domestic
10 February 1957
After Carl Borden sees a doctor, he discovers traces of arsenic in his body. Carl begins to suspects his wife Annette. After Annette drinks a cup of coffee and dies, the doctor informs Carl that she too has arsenic in her system. She must have poisoned herself by mistake. Later, Carl goes to San Francisco with his girlfriend. He reveals to her how close he came to dying while preparing for his wife's murder.
 

Season 2, Episode 21: Number Twenty-Two
17 February 1957
Steve Morgan robs a candy store. He punches the owner in the process. He is soon arrested and is surprised by all the attention he is getting for such a minor crime. He is later shocked to discover that the candy store owner died and that he is not being held for petty theft, but for murder.
 

Season 2, Episode 22: The End of Indian Summer
24 February 1957
Joe Rogers goes undercover in order to expose a murderer named Mrs. Gillespie. He believes that she has been killing her husbands for insurance money. He discovers that Mrs. Gillespie has a fiancé and plans to marry again. He also discovers that she has taken out a large insurance policy on him. Later, Mrs. Gillespie runs off on another honeymoon. Joe meets another man who happens to be investigating Mrs. Gillespie's fiancé. Apparently, he has had four previous wives, each of whom died under mysterious circumstances.
 

Season 2, Episode 23: One for the Road
3 March 1957
Marcia Hendrix finds out that her husband Charles has been cheating on her with a woman named Beryl Abbott. She tries to poison Beryl by putting poison in her sugar bowl. When she goes home she discovers that that her husband has gone to Beryl. Not wanting to kill him, she goes to Beryl and tells her of the poison. Beryl says that Charles has already taken the poison. Marcia leaves to find a doctor. Charles comes in from another room. Not knowing the murder plot but knowing that his wife knows about Beryl, Charles decides to end the affair. Before leaving Beryl asks him to have some coffee for the road. He does so and helps himself to some sugar.
 

Season 2, Episode 24: The Cream of the Jest
10 March 1957
Charles Gresham is an unemployed actor in need of money. He learns that a producer, Wayne Campbell, is involved in a new play. When Campbell does not give him a part, Gresham blackmails him. Campbell gives him money and even a part in the play as a blackmailer. In order to get the part, Campbell tells Gresham that he must audition for an important backer named Nick Roper. Gresham goes to Roper and delivers his lines. He is shot dead. Roper was a gangster who had nothing to do with the play and thought Gresham was trying to blackmail him.
 

Season 2, Episode 25: I Killed the Count: Part 1
17 March 1957
Count Mattoni is brutally murdered and Scotland Yard Inspector Davidson must wade through a myriad of suspects.
 

Season 2, Episode 26: I Killed the Count: Part 2
24 March 1957
Scotland Yard Inspector Davidson continues in his investigation of the murder of Count Mattoni to wade the through suspects. He discovers that each not only appears guilty, but also that many readily admit to having committed the crime.
 

Season 2, Episode 27: I Killed the Count: Part 3
31 March 1957
Scotland Yard Inspector Davidson discovers who killed Count Mattoni. Due to a legal loophole, however, the killer cannot be tried.
 

Season 2, Episode 28: One More Mile to Go
7 April 1957
Sam Jacoby accidentally kills his nagging wife. He decides to get rid of the body by dumping it in a lake. He puts the body in the trunk of his car and takes off. A motorcycle policeman repeatedly stops him for a burned out tail light. Eventually, the policeman tells him to follow him to the station where a police mechanic will open the trunk and change the bulb.
 

Season 2, Episode 29: Vicious Circle
14 April 1957
Manny Cole is a hit-man for Mr. Williams. He kills a man for messing up a jewel robbery. When she finds out about the murder, Manny's girlfriend accuses him of murder. She threatens to go to the police. Mr. Williams orders her killed. Manny tries to do this, but she is later accidentally killed. Manny is rewarded by Mr. Williams. He becomes his right hand man, until he is killed by another hit-man sent to Mr. Williams.
 

Season 2, Episode 30: The Three Dreams of Mr. Findlater
21 April 1957
Ernest Findlater dreams about a South Sea island and a girl he meets there named Lalage. Lalage develops a scheme to help Findlater kill his real life wife. On the night of the planned murder, Findlater discovers that his wife is already dead. She died of natural causes.
 

Season 2, Episode 31: The Night the World Ended
28 April 1957
Halloran plays a practical joke on a man named Johnny. He shows him a fake newspaper with a headline reading "World to End Tonight --- 11:45 P.M." Johnny believes the headline and decides to live it up. He gets into trouble and shoots someone. A few minutes before 11:45 he sees the real headline and realizes that he has been tricked. Johnny finds Halloran and shoots him. The reporter dies at 11:45.
 

Season 2, Episode 32: The Hands of Mr. Ottermole
5 May 1957
A murderer has been strangling people in the London fog. A reporter manages to continually make it to the crime scene before the police. Later, the annoying reporter discovers that the strangler is a policeman. He finds out too late and is killed by the policeman because "Ideas came into his hands".
 

Season 2, Episode 33: A Man Greatly Beloved
12 May 1957
John Anderson is believed to be a famous judge from Boston who is now retied. Townspeople come to trust him greatly. When he dies, everyone in the town feels the loss. Later it is discovered that Anderson's real name is John Louton. He was really a convicted strangler who the real Judge Anderson had sentenced years before.
Season 2, Episode 34: Martha Mason, Movie Star
19 May 1957
Mabel McKay believes that she bears a striking resemblance to a movie star named Martha Mason. Mabel murders her husband and buries him in the garden. She tries to cover up the murder, but decides against it when she realizes all the publicity she can get.
 

Season 2, Episode 35: The West Warlock Time Capsule
26 May 1957
George Tiffant is hired to stuff Napoleon, a town's animal mascot. Napoleon is to be put on display in a glass case in the town square next to a time capsule, to be opened in 100 years. George's brother Waldron visits and is so demanding that George kills him. George places the body in the time capsule.
 

Season 2, Episode 36: Father and Son
2 June 1957
In 1912, Sam Saunders is an ungrateful son who constantly demands help from his father Joe, a London pawnshop owner. One day, Gus Harrison asks Joe for help since he is wanted by the police for a crime he didn't commit. Joe helps Gus, but when Sam finds out he decides to turn him in for the reward money. Mae, Sam's girlfriend, finds out and tells Joe who helps Gus escape. The police fail to get their man, but Sam still demands the reward. The police reluctantly give it to him. As he leaves, he trips. His selfless father immediately runs to his aid.
 

Season 2, Episode 37: The Indestructible Mr. Weems
9 June 1957
Mr. Weems is supposedly near death. Some of his lodge brothers have invested in a cemetery and are in needs of customers. They make a bargain with Weems. They will pay Weems fifty dollars a week for the rest of his, presumably, short life if he agrees to buy the first plot. They hope that others following Mr. Weems's lead will also buy plots. Unfortunately, the men discover that Weems is a bit more resilient than any of them thought.
 

Season 2, Episode 38: A Little Sleep
16 June 1957
Barbie Hallem drives up to her uncle's cabin. She stops at Ed Mungo's café. She learns that Ed's brother Bennie is wanted by the police for having murdered his girlfriend. When she gets to the cabin, she finds Bennie hiding there. Bennie tells her, Ed is the murderer. Ed arrives later, but is killed by Bennie in a struggle. Barbie and Bennie drive off. Barbie confesses that she had gone to the cabin to get away from her boring boyfriend. Bennies says his girlfriend felt the same way about him and that's why he killed her. The then moves to strangle Barbie.
 

Season 2, Episode 39: The Dangerous People
23 June 1957
Mr. Jones and Mr. Bellefontaine waits for a train at a train station. Both of them have heard that a dangerous lunatic has escaped from a local asylum and each suspects the other of being the lunatic in disguise. They grow more paranoid and worried. A policeman arrives and both try to convince him that the other is the lunatic. The policeman says that the madman has just killed a policeman and has stolen his uniform. Jones and Bellefontaine realize the policeman is really the lunatic in disguise. They subdue him and get the real police.


 

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Distribution Universal - Region 1- NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze